If you love all the festivals and fairs this summer, we have another one for you to add to your list. The Rosendale Street Festival is back Saturday, July 15 and Sunday, July 16. The festival will be held on Rosendale’s Main Street, closed to traffic by 10 a.m. so the music and fun can begin at noon.
The family-friendly event features more than 80 bands on just seven stages, with 100 vendors to visit until closing time at 9 p.m. on Saturday and 7 p.m. on Sunday. There is plenty to do all day long including parades, kids crafts, and film festivals.
Carrie Wykoff, Co-Chair of the Rosendale Street Festival, refers to the festival as a town tradition, even though it may not run year after year.
“It has not run every year and has had a few breaks but even with these breaks it is very much a Rosendale tradition,” says Wykoff. “We are very grateful to the Main Street residents who welcome thousands to their street for a great party. Festivalgoers love the fest and in turn love Rosendale itself.”
This not-for-profit grassroots organization was started in 1978 to showcase local talent and celebrate the birthday of a Rosendale icon: Uncle Willy, a former Rosendale nightclub owner and the founder of the festival. The first Rosendale Street festival even took place on Uncle Willy’s actual birthday. Since then, he attends every street festival to MC and welcome the thousands of people the event attracts.
The event helps to boost the local economy as well as boost community interaction. It also helps support and expose musicians and their music in the region.
“I personally feel the festival is an opportunity for Rosendale to open its arms to everyone,” says Wykoff. “We strive to create a fun and safe space to show off the best music in the Hudson Valley”
Performers at the festival include a wide variety of musical talent from voice ensembles to instrumentals. You’ll be tapping your feet and dancing all night long. Popular returning performers include Lara Hope and the Ark-Tones and Dylan Doyle Band.
Hope and her band, named the “Best Up-And-Coming Band” by Hudson Valley Magazine, have been performing at the festival for several years. Hope initially started as a volunteer on the music committee before switching to the performance side. Hope and the rest of her band all have a long history with the festival, as well as personal connections to Rosendale calling the town home at one point or another in their lives.
“Music and community are two of the most important things to me. The RSF brings these together in a very special and beautiful way,” says Hope.
Doyle also sees commodity among the community each year that the festival takes place.
“I love the town of Rosendale. I believe this festival does a lot of good for the town. And the people who book it are easy to work with and great people,” says Doyle. “I love playing outdoors and seeing the community come together for a weekend of music. We need more festivals like this!”
The festival is a completely based on volunteers and donations. However, in the event the festival is profitable, all proceeds will go to supporting the music departments of the Kingston, New Paltz, and Rondout Valley School Districts. The Rosendale Street Festival is dedicated to helping fund scholarships for area youth for music summer camps or music schools and special needs instruments for qualified area students.
Parking for the event is free and will be located at the Bloomington Fire House, Old Tillson School, Brookside School, Iron Mountain Kiln/Rail Trail lot, and the Rondout Municipal Center. UCAT busses will also be running as frequently as possible starting at 12:30 p.m. on both days and ending at 10 p.m. on Saturday and 6 p.m. on Sunday. Bike racks will also be available at each end of Main Street.
You can visit the Rosendale Street Festival website or Facebook page for a full calendar schedule of performances and what stage to find them.